"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit

The fruit of the spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. I want to simply point out that these attributes are the "fruit of the Spirit," and as a result can only be produced by the Spirit.

When the text says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, it does not refer to the natural love of a mother for a child, or the mutual love of family or friends. These demonstrations of love are natural and do not need the Spirit to produce them; this love is not the "fruit of the Spirit."

The love that is, and must be, produced by the Spirit is a love that does not come natural. This kind of love defies logic and nature. This is the kind of love that compels you to love someone that hates you. This kind of love compels you to love someone who actively seeks your harm and destruction. It is love that does not make sense to the natural man.
"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." Luke 6:32 ESV
This verse is natural love that does not need the Spirit's influence. It is the kind of love that the unregenerate sinner has apart from the Holy Spirit. There is, however, dimension of love that only comes from God.
"and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us". Romans 5:5 ESV
The same is true of all of the fruit of the Spirit. Whether it is love, peace or any of the other attributes of the Spirit, there is a natural counterpart; however, they can only reach their fullest potential when they are quickened by the Spirit of God.

In other words: no one should love like someone filled with the Spirit. No one should have peace like someone filled with the Spirit. No one should have joy like someone filled with the Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit maximize your capacity to live!